Frequently Asked Questions
I thought a cobot was safe?
Yes it is!
However, this is before any tooling or gripper assembly is added.
What if the cobot is planned to have more than one use?
Each application requires assessing to ensure it is safe for all to use.
When should the risk assessment be conducted?
As early as possible!
Don't leave it until the end!
Common Cobot Mistakes
Assuming that cobots are inherently safe
They are designed to operate or work around humans, however, this doesn't mean that they are safe.
Not doing a risk assessment
Unfortunately, some people think that they can bypass the risk assessment stage.
This is not a good idea!
The detail within the risk assessment
A rough outline of the task will show a basic operation, but won't go into enough detail to identify any potential safety issues.
A cobot is defined as a machine and is subject to all the legal requirements of the machinery directive and other applicable directives.
Within the UK, the requirements of PUWER need to be met.
Failing to account for end tooling
The safety limits only apply to the robot itself. The end of arm tooling you choose can have a huge impact on the overall safety of the robot and the application.
Only considering normal operation
Issues often occur when something unexpected happens. Both foreseeable and unforeseeable hazards should be considered.
Only considering the risk from one operation
Cobot applications have many different steps to create a working process and all of these affect the safety of the overall task.
Using a risk assessment to justify a decision
This can happen if a risk assessment is conducted at the end of a project.
Not involving the relevant people
Having all those who will use or maintain the cobot application involved is a key element to the overall safety process.